My brother has a Compaq desktop running XP Home, 512meg of Ram
The last month his computer has not only been running apps very slow, but browsing the Internet via Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox, either browser frequently locks up and even the entire computer locks up to where even Ctrl-Alt-Delete even freezes. Leaving him the only alternative of pushing and holding the power button till the computer shuts down completely.
I tried hitting F8 at boot-up to choose "Last Known Good Configuration " which did not improve matters at all.
Tried CCleaner, getting rid of huge number of TMP files, but no improvement there either.
Nothing I've tried made any improvement.
We are now looking at running the Restore/Reinstall disk. This Compaq disk is totally strange to me. It has the usual revert computer to factory original configuration, of course. But no option to revert/repair registry alone without doing global reformate.
There is an option to backup all files currently on computer, which upon inspection of the that part of the recover disk is a large GoBack file of all things.
But doing this all-files backup routine will, the Disk says, create a 3rd partition on his computer.
I should note that there are on my brother's Compaq already 2 partitions—the C:\ and D:\. The D:\ I assume holds the restore files as most computers these days have. There is however, also, a second (beyond the Recover Disk) a second separate Disk labeled XP Opertating System which looks to contain just that...the Windows XP operating system. This is an old enough Compaq by the way, from the days when companies did still supply an actual OS Disk.
Problem is, Compaq's instructions (I should say the lack thereof) on how to use these things are totally inadequate.
I realize this is a long, and probably confusing post, so to get to the point I have 2 main questions:
1) Anyone have any suggestions for repair apps/tips to deal with the mystery of why both IE-8 and Firefox keep browsing so slow and locking up themselves and whole computer?
2) If my brother chooses to go the route of revert computer to original out-of-box state (seems most likely to me) when starting up the routine for back to out-of-box I get the notice that user doing so must have FACTORY REGISTRATION INFORMATION available. I've never seen it expressed in these terms that I recall, but assume this means Windows installation Key. What I'd like is some knowledgeable reader to confirm that Compaq's term FACTORY REGISTRATION INFORMATION is same as the installtion Key that the Windows installation routine will demand. Probably silly question to you all, but Compaq's system looks totally weird to me.
My brother can't find that, but I'm sure I can extract it using my Magical Jellybean KEYfinder. Unless someone here has a better way of locating the installation Key. My recollection it is hidden somewhere in the hard drive, but I don't remember the path. If anyone can give me the path, I'd be interested in that info too.
Any other tips or suggestions also would be much appreciated.
Thanks for your time and attention.